Pursuing the discursive or material effects of relational queerness, this book reflects on how objects can illuminate, affect, and animate queer modes of being.
In the early 1990s the queer theorist Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick defined queer as “multiply transitive . . . relational and strange,” rather than a fixed identity. In spite of this, much of the queer theoretical scholarship of the last three decades has used queer as a synonym for anti-normative sexual identities. The contributions to this volume return to the idea of transitivity, exploring what happens when queer is thought of as a turning toward or turning away from a diverse range of objects, including bodily waste; frozen cats; archival ephemera; the writing of Virginia Woolf; the Pop art of Ray Johnson; the podcast S-Town; and Maggie Nelson’s memoir The Argonauts.
Relevant to those studying queer theory, this book will also be of wider interest to those researching identity and the way in which it is represented in a variety of artistic disciplines.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Angelaki.
Table of Contents
Foreword Introduction 1. Eve Sedgwick’s "Other Materials" 2. Acts Against Nature 3. Solid Objects and Modern Tonics, or, who’s Afraid of the Big Camp Woolf? 4. Library Trolls and Database Animals: Kenneth Halliwell and Joe Orton’s Library Book Alterations 5. Ray Johnson’s Anti-Archive: Blackface, Sadomasochism, and the Racial and Sexual Imagination of Pop Art 6. On Ray Johnson’s Sexuality, Loves, and Friendships: An Interview Between William S. Wilson and Benjamin Kahan 7. The Shameless Performativity of Camp in Patrick White’s The Twyborn Affair 8. Tom Ripley, Queer Exceptionalism, and the Anxiety of Being Close to Normal 9. Capote’s Frozen Cats: Sexuality, Hospitality, Civil Rights 10. Cooper’s Queer Objects 11. Objects of Desire: Masculinity, Homosociality and Foppishness in Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity and About a Boy 12. Queer Objects and Intermedial Timepieces: Reading s-town (2017) 13. Ephemeraphilia: A Queer History Dossier: The Argonauts as Queer Object 14. Medea’s Perineum 15. "Feral with Vulnerability": On The Argonauts 16. Theory and the Everyday 17. On Being a Good-Enough Reader of Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts 18. In the Margins with The Argonauts
Guy Davidson is Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Wollongong, Australia. His most recent book is Categorically Famous: Literary Celebrity and Sexual Liberation in 1960s America (2019).
Monique Rooney teaches literature, film and television in the English Program at the Australian National University. She is the author of Living Screens: Melodrama and Plasticity in Contemporary Film and Television (2015). She is the editor of Australian Humanities Review.